“James now shifts to his second subject: wisdom. This discussion will extend from 3:1 to 4:12. In this first section he examines the connection between speech and wisdom. In particular, he focuses on the tongue, that organ by which we produce words, the vehicles of wisdom. Words, he says, are not insignificant. Words can be wise but they can also be deadly. The tongue is such a small organ and yet it has great power. It can control the very direction of one’s life. The mature person is known by his or her ability to control the tongue.” (Serendipity House 301Study Series, James)
“Not many of you should presume to become teachers,…because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Thanks James for the encouragement. Those who teach may have a greater influence and with that influence there is a responsibility. It was thought that in Jerusalem, at this time, that there were teachers who were using their words to criticize. They had a critical stance towards others and received criticism in return. Teachers were highly esteemed in that day and time and thus had a lot of influence. Some led the church astray by teaching their opinions instead of the truth of God. Some were hypocritical and did not practice what they preached. And then, there was a problem with some people who were eloquent and persuasive but they only pretended to be a teacher. So James says be careful if you are a teacher in the church.
The bigger take away in this passage is the use of our tongue; the words we choose to speak. Extraverts, like myself, who like to talk and talk and talk can gain a lot of wisdom from James here in the beginning of Chapter 3. Words are powerful and life-shaping. We can build up, connect, care for others, support, and be loving with what we say: OR NOT. Some self-control, thoughtfulness, and kindness can go a long way in influencing what we say and do not say.
This day speak to bring life, hope, faith, and love wherever you go. Speak well and live well for Christ Jesus. I am going to work at that today. God bless you!